A Vision of Innovation (People's Daily Online/Li Zhenyu)
When world discovered China, the developing country was deemed as the "Manufacturing Factory of the Globe" — a major provider of low-cost, abundant labor and low added-value products. The popularly widespread phrase — "Made in China", in most cases, was associated with, in the West, an image perceived as cheap and low-end. China's creative side has remained undiscovered.
When China embraced the world with its opening-up policy and extraordinary economic growth, the Awakening Dragon had embarked on a golden journey to transform itself, from being labor-intensive to being knowledge-intensive, from rising dependently on the growth of hard power to a full-blown renaissance of soft power, from the crude, cut-price "Made in China" to an imaginably refined, top-notch "Created in China". Now, China's creative power, its innovative strength, is only hidden in the not-distant future.
A Vision of Innovation
Trade liberalization has sent China's economy booming, making the country an attractive, even essential market for global businesses. Looking ahead, will the fragrance of freedom spread with more cultural flavors? And after China unleashes its innovative power, will the world ultimately see a "Chinese golden garden" that yields mouth-watering fruits for both China and the world?
All of the answers lie in a journey, a golden journey into the future of a cultural renaissance.
China's cultural innovation is heading towards a golden decade of unprecedented prosperity, profits and pride.
Over the next decade, China's cultural industry is geared to maintain high growth and ultimately grow from a new engine into a pillar of the national economy.
Picture of the Future
The following, based on government documents, statistics, data analysis and insiders' low-down, provides a big picture of the 10 major trends in China's cultural and creative industry over the next 5 to 10 years.
Trend No.1: "Made in China" upgraded
"Made in China" will gradually evolve into "Created in China". A growing export of China's cultural products will be seen, but the rising power's deficit in cultural trade will still remain for quite some time.
Trend No.2: More international brands
More Chinese brands and products will enter the international cultural market, and the world will see a growing number of Chinese companies taking part in mergers and acquisitions of international cultural corporations.
Trend No.3: Joining the "pillar" club
The cultural industry will gradually become one of the pillar industries in the regional and national economy, given the favorable policy and economic environment the industry enjoys.
Trend No.4: More market-driven growth
While the industry's past growth was more government-driven, its future growth model will be based more on the market. The government will continue to play crucial roles in sustaining and monitoring the sector, but there will be much more collaboration between the government and the market.
Trend No.5: Further commercialized
The cultural industry will be further commercialized, with the system reform coming to an end. Strong demand for cultural products will bring unprecedented prosperity to the industry. Investment in the industry will gradually diversify as the share of private and foreign capital increases.
Trend No.6: Convergence across industries
The cultural industry will further integrate with other industries. Convergence across the cultural, manufacturing and service industries will spur the development of all these industries. Substantial progress will be made in the integration of telecommunications networks, cable TV networks and the Internet.
Trend No.7: More concentrated
The industry will become more and more concentrated, with the emergence of a growing number of flagship cultural conglomerates, which take up a large percentage of China's domestic market.
Trend No.8: A key for capital markets
China's cultural industry will see more than 100 public companies, which will be listed in both the domestic and overseas capital markets. And the sector will become a key investment area for capital markets.
Trend No.9: More private participation
Encouraging private investments in the cultural sector will become the priorities of the cultural system reform in the next few years. More and more private capital will flow into the increasingly vibrant and innovative cultural sector. However, the biggest players on the market will still be the state-controlled businesses.
Trend No.10: A 'digital boom'
Digital industry will develop at fast pace and ultimately become the core of the cultural sector.♦
Read on: Part IV: A Fast-growing Force in IPR
Li Zhenyu authors the "Golden Decade" column for People's Daily Online.